So you want to try anal sex. That's great! Anal play can be lots of fun — if you're ready for it. Unlike other types of sex, which most people can fumble their way through when they don't have much experience, anal sex takes some research. (And, to be clear, it's always better to think and talk through any new sexual experience before you try it with a partner).
But you can't just slide into anal sex (unless you're using plenty of lube...but more on that later). If you don't know what you're doing and you aren't careful, you could hurt yourself or your partner because the anus is sensitive. "Contrary to what many believe, anal sex does not have to be painful (unless people engaging in it want it to be)," says Dulcinea Pitagora, a sex therapist known as the Kink Doctor. So before you give anal a try, read our tips about how to prep, both physically and mentally.